Wah, Taj!

I am a firm believer of the adage, ‘Start as you mean to go’.

So, when The Husband surprised me with a staycation for New Year’s Eve I jumped at the idea.  When he shared that the hotel he chose was The Taj Gateway Hotel on Residency Road, Bangalore, my immediate response was a double thumbs up.

And that is how the of 31st December 2016 had us driving to the hotel from our home. On checking in at noon we were welcomed with a glass of Lemon Iced Tea. The check in procedure was smooth and we were in our plush room within minutes, to realize that we had been given an upgrade! Joy! Our special New Year’s package included an entry into all the parties the hotel was hosting and of course the stay with breakfast the next day.

The Taj Group of Hotels are known worldwide for their comfort, gracious service and great locations, and this hotel was no different. Our room was tastefully decorated, the bed and pillows were just right, midway between firm and squishy, always very important to ensure a good night’s sleep and wake up revived.

As we knew that we had a night of partying ahead we decided to take a nap, from which we woke up refreshed. The advantage of the location of this hotel is its proximity to the 3 most happening streets of Bangalore, Commercial Street, Brigade Road and MG Road and we stepped out to walk around all 3, shopping, window shopping and snacking for a good 3 hours. The streets and stores were gaily decorated and they all lit up as dusk fell and what a gorgeous sight it was!

Returning to the hotel we relaxed over a cup of hot tea, made to our specification, in their restaurant as we went over 2016 that had passed.

Back to our room, and a luxurious shower with top of the line toiletries later, we watched PM Narendra Modi address the nation as we dressed to the nines to go party hopping and welcome 2017.

The first party had tables pre-reserved for the guests, with eye masks and oversized coloured glasses adding the fun element. A special mention to the attentive and gracious staff who were unobtrusive but at our elbow as soon as they felt we needed something. Custom made Cocktails and Mock-tails which were delicious and food that was flavourful, with enough variety for each palate and preference. The 2nd party was informal with a buffet spread out and a bar that was perennially crowded.

Catchy music had us on the dance floor and we welcomed 2017 with feet tapping, satiated with great food and drinks and the Taj Gateway ensuring a memorable time and New Year’s Eve for us.

“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip“

10 Day ‘You’ Challenge: 8 Fears

8 Fears

1) Writer’s Block: Any writer who has faced it knows what I’m talking about. I was buried under the Block for 4 long years and it was the most frustrating phase of my writing life.

2) Lizards: They creep me out, big time!

3) Boring People: Boring people who think they are interesting are one of my biggest fears. Sadly, I have a lot of them in my life.

4) Swimming/Water: I have learnt swimming, but can never venture to the deep end of the pool. Water unnerves me.

5) Technology: A cold fear grips my heart when confronted with this ever changing technology. I am woefully tech-challenged.

6) Bad Tea: I dread drinking badly made tea, more so because I am too polite to refuse to do so. I was once offered tea made with Goats Milk. I drank it down and puked as soon as I got home and I was sick for the whole day.

7) Horror Movies: Ironically, I enjoy reading the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz but I cannot watch a horror film. If I am made to, I don’t sleep for the entire night, sometimes nights, and I am jumpy during the day.

8) Death: I keep wondering how those last minutes before life leaves you would be and what happens after.

 

 

10 Day ‘You’ Challenge : 9 Loves

9 Loves

1)  Myself! Enough said!:)

2)  Reading: I used to read a book a day, I was that voracious a reader AND I also had that much time:-D I can’t keep up with that pace anymore BUT I have to read every day, it is a must!

3) Walking: My preferred mode of transport is Walking. I love long walks, alone or with my music.

4) Movies: Watching a film in a theatre, to be specific. When the lights go out and it is just you and the characters on screen,  that is akin to a spiritual experience of sorts for me.

5) Writing: Writing a good piece gives me a high like no other, and it usually lasts for a few days!

6)  Sweets: I have a set of Sweet-32 teeth! I could live without food but not without sweets! Ah, the bane of my weighing scale!

7)  Traveling: I am an enthusiastic traveler and learn and grow with each trip.

8)  Helping People: In whichever way I can. Strangely it has backfired many a times, but that doesn’t deter me.

9) Meeting new people: New people lead to fresh perspectives, newer ideas and these lead to growth. Speaking only for myself here, btw 🙂

 

10 Day ‘You’ Challenge: 10 Secrets

10 Secrets

1) I LOVE Bollywood gossip! It is my stress buster!
2) I cannot drive. Despite a valid driving license, AND learning it thrice. Yes, I am duly ashamed of the fact.
3) I cannot ride a bicycle either. Yes, ashamed of that too.
4) I was a borderline OCD (and very annoying to live with I assure you, ask my sister) but I am all good now.
5) I am extremely organized though. Despite being a Gemini.
6) I mostly wear the clothes and shoes I have shopped for immediately, right out of the store.
7) I compliment random strangers. No, I do not think there is anything strange about saying nice things to people.
8) Till 4 years ago I did not know cooking, at all. I learnt cooking online, through blogs and sites. I now also have a food blog.
9) I was nicknamed Baby as a child. I refused to answer to it after I turned 10. Since then I am Mayuri, to one and all.
10) The first thing I notice about people are their teeth and their feet. And I am obsessive about keeping mine in ship shape.

Saw this BlogChallenge on Novemberschild blog and I knew I had to do it!:)

The Bank of Life

 


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I received a call from a bank

“There’s a draft for you, would you collect it Ma’am?’

I was surprised and racked my brain

couldn’t remember opening an account, in my name.

Off I went, to see what this was all about

I just had to go, had to clear a lot of doubts

I reached the bank; saw it was called ‘LIFE’

amazed I was, as I walked inside

it was vast and empty, there was no one there

beautifully decorated, but had just one chair

“Hello!!?” I called out, “Is anyone there?”

There was no answer, as I stood wondering what to do

in walked a man, I knew him from somewhere

but where, I didn’t have a clue

“Some accounts to be settled, some debts to be paid,

some cheques to be encashed, why don’t you take a chair?”

 

I panicked a little but did as I was told

sat on the only chair, saw it was made of gold

He bought out some ledgers; saw my name on some

there were lots of figures, I couldn’t understand a-one.

He began explaining about give and take

“This is The Bank of Life” he said,

everyone has an account here

whether they are aware of it or not

we keep their books and ease their debts

till an equal balance we have sought

Remember what you have taken, you also have to give

if you have been forgiven, you also have to forgive

This bank has a lot of facilities, which I shall tell you about today

The only thing we do not return, are your yesterdays.

 

You can invest in ‘Tomorrow’

I promise you the dividends will be rich

take my word for it Ma’am

put all your money on ‘Tomorrow’ without a hitch

‘Today’ is still our best deal

give it all you’ve got

the interest on it is the highest

invest in it without a thought.

 

‘Yesterday’ is always a losing deal

people invest all they have into it

in spite of being warned, they do not pay heed

Banking on ‘Yesterday’ is like putting money on a losing steed.

‘Time’ here is loaned out, equally to all

how you spend it, is your call.

sometimes you run out of it, there’s nothing we can do.

If there’s any other problem, we can help you.

In ‘The Bank of Life’, you only get back what you give

so be generous with what you put in

on the dividends of it you will live

My accounts had been settled

all my debts cleared

my drafts had been encashed

my work was over here

I asked if I could leave

the man answered with a nod

only when I was out of there

did I realize he was God.

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My all-time Favorite Film, and why : #TadkaTuesday

 

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Pic Courtesy: Google

A few years ago on a boring Sunday afternoon as I was idly changing television channels, the title of a film ‘The Green Mile’ caught my eye, and since it was going to be telecast in the next 10 minutes I decided to watch it.

The Green Mile is a story set in prison. When a fierce and forbidding looking prisoner, John Coffey, is sentenced to Death Row and brought in the guards are surprised to find him to be sensitive, gentle, afraid of the dark, pleading his innocence and blessed with special powers.

Over time, the Warden and the Prisoner develop a strange kind of friendship based on trust, faith and miracles.

Watching The Green Mile was an experience. The film moved me, and has found a permanent place in my heart ever since I watched it. As I later googled to find out more, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was an adaptation of 6 of Stephen Kings books, compiled into 1.

I am a huge Stephen King fan. I consider him my writing Guru as I am in awe of his imagination, the way he translates thoughts to words and how beautifully he crafts his sentences. My love for reading, and writing, Horror is all thanks to King.

The Green Mile is one of my all-time favourite films because;

  • It is the adaptation of a book written by my writing Guru, Stephen King
  • I believe in Magic and Miracles, and those are the basic premises of the film
  • I believe looks are deceptive and one of the central characters, John Coffey, proves just that, the Gentle Giant who does right even when he is wronged and uses his powers to heal.
  • It had Tom Hanks, who wow’s, yet again!
  • The film is sensitively written, and directed with power packed performances by the entire cast.
  • There is so much to be learnt in this wise story/film and some of the dialogues stay with you.
  • The beautiful tagline that says, ‘Paul Edgecomb didn’t believe in miracles. Until the day he met one.’

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Pic Courtesy: Google

If you’ve watched The Green Mile, what did you think of it? If you haven’t watched it yet, here is the trailer .

 

 

Finding Mr Right

 

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So there I was, happily single, doing all the things I loved, traveling the world, and the perfect age for Auntie’s in the family and neighbourhood to look solemn and remind my parents that they had granted me way too much leeway and freedom of choice. My Parents and family laughed it off, every time. But, as yet another birthday came and went my Dad and Sister decided to change things, and without my knowledge I was enlisted with a Personalized Matrimonial Agency.

Now, I had nothing against finding my spouse ‘Online’. After all times had changed and so had technology, and where else but Online could you peruse an array of guys as you sat at home in your pyjamas, was my logical reasoning. So, no I wasn’t livid that they had registered me, I was livid that it had been done without my knowledge!

Even as I was reeling under this surprise birthday gift from my family, a list of profiles  were mailed to me by the agency, and the 1st one among them was that of a certain Srikrishna Nidigulla (they had misspelt the surname) My father liked his profile a lot, and I didn’t like it one bit! Imagine living with that surname for the rest of my life, I exclaimed! And the guy looked like some villain from some South-Indian film, I screamed!

My father patiently listened to my diatribe and then calmly insisted I meet him. I hemmed, hawed, went on another holiday and happily thought it was all but forgotten till I was given another reminder to get in touch with him, a stern one this time. I realized my Father meant business and I sent across my number to Sri. Who called me up and the first thing he said was, ‘I am looking for a Telugu girl’ How weird is that, I wondered? Hadn’t my profile stated that I was a Punjabi, I asked? Even more put off by this latest twist to the ongoing drama, I lied to Sri that I was down with the flu (I was on the recumbent cycle getting my daily Cardio fix as I conversed with him on the phone) and I thought the matter would rest there. Sri wished me a speedy recovery and suggested that I call him once I was feeling better.

I had decided I wasn’t going to. Apparently not.

My Father thought that I should be graceful enough to return Sri’s call and I did, under duress. And Sri and I made polite conversation and decided to meet up for coffee.

When Sri walked into the restaurant he was wearing this perfectly cut suit which I noticed before I noticed him. His shoes were not scuffed, his hands were manicured and he smelt good. Only after my covert scrutiny had helped me tick all the boxes did I look up to see his face to realize he didn’t look his picture in the profile at all! Nor did he look like a villain, or even ‘South-Indian’, for that matter.

Coffee and conversations flowed over the 2 meetings that we had after our 1st one, during which Sri shared that the ‘I am looking for a Telugu girl’ was a caveat he used, in case he didn’t gel with a girl he met and couldn’t take it forward. I shared the over the top reaction I had when I first saw his profile. And we mutually agreed that humble pie doesn’t taste so bad after all 🙂

Our 4th meeting happened when both our families met. And a month and a half after we first met we were engaged, and married 2 and a half months after the engagement.

Today (29th November) we, Mayuri & Srikrishna Nidigallu, celebrate our 6th Wedding Anniversary and we STILL have people who do not believe how a ‘North-Indian’ and a ‘Madrasi’ could have had an arranged marriage!

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Aromatic #55er

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‘You’ve cast a spell on me! With this brew that satiates me first and then awakens the beast within’ he danced around the hearth.

‘Oh God! Not the early morning drama again, before I’ve had my first cup of coffee!’ her eyes twinkled as she inhaled the aroma from her mug, and handed him his.

Written for The Daily Post prompt, ‘Aromatic’

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Surprise! #FridayFotoFiction #Week4

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He told her to be at the restaurant at eight
She blushed, promising she wouldn’t be late
She dressed to the nines
brushed her hair till it shined

She drove to the restaurant
Wondering what would be ‘the surprise’
She practiced her reaction
Then laughed at herself, rolling her eyes

She parked the car and did a little jig
Took deep breaths willing heartbeats not to skip
Walked towards the restaurant with a song in her heart
Entered, and got a start

For there he was, down on one knee
Proposing to his love

And his love was a He

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#FridayFotoFiction

Rohan Sonalkar’s story  for #FridayFotoFiction made him walk away with 1st place in #Week3! Congratulations, Rohan!

 

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Here is the prompt for #Week4 of #FridayFotoFiction

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 Image Credit – Timur Saglambilek

How to participate in #FridayFotoFiction
Every Thursday we’ll give you a photo prompt
Follow @twinklingtina & @Mayuri6 on Twitter and wait for the prompt
Write a 100 Word story relevant to the photo prompt
Use the badge at the end of your posts
Link up with Tina or Mayuri
Read, comment, share on host and co-hosts posts and at least two more posts linked in the party Pro Tip – Networking and commenting is good for your blog’s health and ranks.
Use #FridayFotoFiction in your post and share on social media using the same hashtag.
Every week we will have one featured blogger who is the best reflection of this community spirit
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